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My young Notophthalmus are growing up...

slowfoot

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My broken-striped newts started courting around Christmas, then laid a gazillion eggs. Almost all of the larvae hatched. Unfortunately, many were eaten by their bigger siblings. I have only about 6 or so large larvae left. They've just started eating 'non-moving' foods, which is nice. Now I'm feeding them small bloodworms by hand.

Here's a little cutie about 2 weeks ago:







And another one today:




I love their cute little eye-stripes.

And here are the proud parents:




It's almost impossible to get a good shot of them because they basically go into a feeding frenzy as soon as I approach the tank. So I just went ahead and fed them.

I'm a little sad that so many larvae were lost. I kept moving the small ones to their own tanks, but inevitably one would get bigger and eat the rest. So, I'm thinking if my newts breed next year I may just try to find someone to take the larvae as soon as they hatch. I just don't have the facilities to look after so many babies.

Also: Sorry for the imageshack ads - the attachments feature won't work for me on these forums.
 

dane_zu

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

thats spectacular! I love hearing of Noto's captive breeding stories, keep up the good work!
 

Nathan050793

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Me too, I am happy to see some baby notos on the forum! Especially broken-striped newts, not a lot of people keep them anymore.
 

slowfoot

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Thanks for the replies!

I'm hoping the parents breed again next year. They're pretty old - over 17 years now - and this is the first year they've decided to court in over 5 years, I think. If they do, I will definitely try to give away either the very young larvae or eggs.

I'd thought about doing that, but then I just didn't feel right about shipping them. I probably should have though.

If these guys all make it to the eft stage, I'll consider giving them up to someone who's had more experience. I've just never had any luck raising efts and I want to give them a good chance. I'll miss them, though :(
 

ravenous

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Great pics, Ive always liked these newts and wondered how, if theyre so common and American, I can never find some!

Id like to sign up for some eggs, larvae, or efts (whatever you want to send) if thats cool with you. Hope ya consider it!

Keep up the cool pics!
 

onetwentysix

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Congrats on the success with the animals you've still got! I'm glad to see that some of them have made it this far. One thing you can try next time is to put lots of leaf litter or other objects (oak leaves work best, otherwise rocks, other leaves, plants, etc.) in the containers to help the smaller ones hide, which allows more to reach the stage where cannibalism is minimal.

Good luck with the ones you've got, and don't forget to update the other goons on their progress!
 

slowfoot

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Good luck with the ones you've got, and don't forget to update the other goons on their progress!

Oh, I will :D

Thanks for the tips and replies. The tanks the larvae are in are actually full of cover. They've got a large gravel substrate, which hides the smallest larvae, lots of moss, elodea, dead leaves, etc. I think they're just really good at finding and eating everything edible.

They have now graduated to actually foraging for frozen bloodworms, which is nice because now I don't have to strategically place a worm in front of each larvae. Although, my favorite baby gets quite excited when he sees the pipette of worms approaching and always swims up for a bite.

Does anyone have any advice on what stage is the easiest and safest to ship? I really don't know if I can handle these guys as efts, but I've always assumed that's one of the more fragile stages.
 

Jake

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Does anyone have any advice on what stage is the easiest and safest to ship? I really don't know if I can handle these guys as efts, but I've always assumed that's one of the more fragile stages.

Eggs are probably the best stage to ship newts. They can be placed in a CD or DVD case on damp paper towels and placed in an envelope and mailed over night. Efts are tricky in the sense that they need small terrestrial live foods which may not be as easy for most people to obtain as aquatic foods.

Good luck raising them the rest of the way and breeding next year.
 

slowfoot

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

Thanks for the advice, everyone.

Well, I've tried to deny it, but it looks like one of my larvae is starting metamorphosis :( He is way too small to make it, I think. Of course, it's my favorite one - the little guy who always begs for food and attacks the pipette when I'm feeding. I've moved him to a small container with low water level and many rocks breaking the surface.

I'm at work right now, but I'll try to post pictures when I get home. His gills are definitely regressing. I've also started feeding him as much as I can get him to eat while I still can - not that he's been starved. He's still eating well right now. I know how much harder they are to feed once they become terrestrial.

My plan at this point is to basically transfer him to a springtail culture once he's changed. If anyone has a better idea, I'm open to any suggestions. The efts I attempted to raise from the previous breedings never ate (I tried all sorts of tiny foods - it helped that I was in a lab working with plethodontids), but they lasted for months on apparently nothing then died. The eft stage has been hearbreaking for me, so I'm not looking forward to it.

Why do they have to grow up?
 

slowfoot

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Re: My baby Notos are growing up...

The one little guy morphed successfully (though he's still really small) and has disappeared into his terrestrial enclosure. I've been adding springtails and woodlice, and I've seen him a couple of times but that's it. I'll try to get a picture if I see him again - I just don't want to disturb him too much.

The rest are still fully-gilled, so I'm feeding them as much as I can to get them up to a nice size.
 

slowfoot

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Just a quick little update:

I now have three metamorphs. Two more larvae are still fully aquatic, and one of those is very small and having bloat issues, so I'm pretty sure he's not going to make it :(

The metamorphs are now in a small terrarium with a soil and rotting wood substrate and many hiding places - basically a forest floor environment. I've tried culturing springtails in there but haven't had any luck at getting them to reproduce. For the time being, the little guys are eating termites almost exclusively. I have to collect rotting logs to get these guys, but they can actually survive a long time without the rest of the colony. And the newts seem to really enjoy them.

They three little guys look nice and fat. They hate me now, and flee whenever I get near the glass, so I don't see them very often - so different than the aquatic adults! When I add a fresh group of termites, they'll often come out to feed, so I catch a little glimpse of them then.
 

slowfoot

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Sorry for updating so often, but I can't just edit my last post...

My last (healthy) larva has just undergone metamorphosis. I snapped a quick shot of him before releasing him into the terrarium with the others:

metamorph.jpg

A shot of the juveniles' terrarium - it's really not much to look at. Right now, it's more of a termite farm than anything else:

terrarium1.jpg

The parents are doing well. Dad:

dad.jpg

One of the two females:

mom.jpg
 

Nathan050793

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You don't have to apologize for adding updates, I've been following this and love to hear the news! I've mostly been listening to this so intently because, I too have some noto larvae that hatched out about 2 months after this thread was started. If possible, could you give me any pointers? About how long did it take to reach metamorphosis?

I really appreciate the snapshots of the larvae and new morphs, they are neat to see. Good luck!:D

P.s.- Sorry about the barrage of questions, I'm just really curious about the ones I have...
 

slowfoot

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Sorry about the barrage of questions, I'm just really curious about the ones I have...

No problem ;) But I have to warn you that I don't really know what I'm doing...

My eggs began hatching in mid January, and the first larvae started metamorphosis in late June. So that's about 6 months maximum? As the larvae grew bigger (while some didn't) I had to keep sorting them based on size just to keep the smaller guys from getting eaten. But what always ended up happening is that one of the previous 'small' guys would suddenly grow huge and start picking on the others. So if I was going to do everything again, I think I'd try keeping them individually. Things also got so much easier after they graduated to eating bloodworms (frozen, which I hand-fed) - I just couldn't afford the cost of Daphnia :(

When they started changing it happened very quickly: only about a day or so from the time I first noticed the gills receding until the larva was completely terrestrial. I ended up having to check on each individual often to make sure I didn't miss anyone.

Once they change, they are excellent climbers, so make sure you have a lid on whatever you put the metamorphs in otherwise they will escape and dry out. I've also had to rescue the new metamorphs a couple of times from being stuck on the sides of the tank.

Springtails haven't really worked out for me: they're expensive and I can't seem to establish them in the tank. Termites have been great so far because they're free and the newts seem to really like them. They might be slightly too large for a very tiny metamorph to handle, but my guys have had no problem with them.
 

Nathan050793

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Thanks for such a quick reply! I appreciate the info about the terrestrial stage-that is going to come in handy for sure. My only question now is, how do you hand feed them the bloodworms? I tried using forceps to feed mine bloodworms, however, they all scatter as soon as they see me. Thanks again!:D
 

slowfoot

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My only question now is, how do you hand feed them the bloodworms? I tried using forceps to feed mine bloodworms, however, they all scatter as soon as they see me. Thanks again!:D

I use one of those disposable plastic pipettes to suck up a few small worms. Then I sort of hover the pipette tip over the larvae and carefully drop worms in front of them. As the worms are falling, the larvae will usually grab one. It's tedious and can leave some cage mess to clean up (also with the pipette), but I can usually get everyone to eat that way. Eventually, they'd get excited when they saw the pipette coming and swim up to it.
 

slowfoot

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Updating again for newer pictures and a question. First, the pics!

I added some new termites yesterday, which always brings out the little newts. Here's a shot of the youngest, smallest metamorph:

newt1.jpg

One of the older metamorphs was out as well. He's got much stronger coloring and he's a little more confident when hunting. I think he looks pretty nice and fat:

newt3.jpg

newt4.jpg

Now, on to the question(s):

When/how should I expect them to become aquatic? Do they need to reach a certain size before they return to the water? They won't become aquatic if there's no water available, right? At the moment I don't have any sort of water source in the terrarium because I've been pretty worried about drowning. When should I add one? And how much water is enough to get them to become aquatic?
 

Nathan050793

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When/how should I expect them to become aquatic? Do they need to reach a certain size before they return to the water? They won't become aquatic if there's no water available, right? At the moment I don't have any sort of water source in the terrarium because I've been pretty worried about drowning. When should I add one? And how much water is enough to get them to become aquatic?

From what I've heard, the eft stage can last anywhere from 1 to 7 years, although 1-3 is more common. I think that as they are nearing adult size (and sexual maturity), they begin to change color and the tail becomes more keeled (as opposed to rounded). This is when they should be given the opportunity to become aquatic. Since the efts are hydrophobic, they probably will steer clear of any water, however, a small, very shallow (not even enough to cover them entirely) water dish might be worth a try.

Now for my questions (sorry to hijack your thread :eek:)-

How close to metamorphosis were your larvae when they started showing adult (eft) coloration? Did it happen overnight or was it gradual? My larvae look to be about as old as the larvae in your first two pictures, how close were they to metamorphosis? I feel like a total dork asking all of these questions, but Thanks in advance!

-by the way, I've been using a pipette to feed mine mosquito larvae, and it's fantastic! They look so plump! Thanks for the tip.:D
 

slowfoot

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Thanks for the advice! I'll add a little dish for them. They're actually growing really quickly. I'm a little worried because the largest metamorph is almost twice as big as the smallest one. I might have to separate them soon.

How close to metamorphosis were your larvae when they started showing adult (eft) coloration? Did it happen overnight or was it gradual? My larvae look to be about as old as the larvae in your first two pictures, how close were they to metamorphosis? I feel like a total dork asking all of these questions, but Thanks in advance!

You know... Now that I'm thinking about it, I actually have no idea when they started to look more adult-like in color. I think it was right when the gills started receding. It happened so fast that I'd check on the little guys before I left for work in the morning and one would look like it had slightly stubbier gills, and I'd come back home in the evening to a little metamorph. I took those first pictures back in March, and the first guys started changing about a month ago. So it was about four months, I think? They got quite a bit larger and more solid-colored over that time. I just didn't happen to get any pictures of them.

-by the way, I've been using a pipette to feed mine mosquito larvae, and it's fantastic! They look so plump! Thanks for the tip.:D
Glad to hear it! It can be a pain, but it was worth it to get them to grow.
 
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